Money Smart - A Financial Education Program
Spotlight On…Employment Services
Organization: The Housing Authority of Kansas City (HAKC)
Main Office: Kansas City, MO
The Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri (HAKC) assists in the development, rehabilitation and management of safe, sanitary and affordable, quality housing. HAKC maintains affordable housing that, meet the long-term needs of low-income households and serve as viable community resources that promote economic independence and self-sufficiency for their residents. The HAKC is also committed to promoting economic self-sufficiency and improving residents’ quality of life via its Resident Services department. An integral component is financial education and FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum serves as the core instructional element for six programs within HAKC. Hence, HAKC has trained staff members teaching an average of three classes per week and overseeing three computer-based instruction (CBI) classes. One program utilizing Money Smart is the Youth Build program for individuals, ages 18-23 pursuing their General Education Degree (GED); students are required to complete an average of 36 hours of Money Smart year round. Other HAKC programs that incorporate Money Smart are: Public Housing Homeownership; Section 8 Homeownership; Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency, Section 8 Family Self-Sufficiency and Resident.
Organization: Summer HEAT (Help Employ Area Teens)
Main Office: Trenton, NJ
The Summer HEAT program was developed as part of New Jersey’s Public Safety Plan (PSP), which aims to reduce youth delinquency, gang involvement, and gun violence in New Jersey’s cities through partnerships between local government and the community to reduce the impact of risk factors on youth. The HEAT program helps disadvantaged youth gain positive employment experiences. When New Jersey’s Summer HEAT Program was created, New Jersey Youth Corps recommended that Money Smart be incorporated into the initial training phase for all participants. The idea was adopted, and Money Smart for Young Adults is now part of the orientation for all Summer HEAT participants that must be completed prior to job placement.
As a compliment to New Jersey’s Summer HEAT Program, New Jersey Youth Corps created a Summer Youth Corps Program to help out-of-school youth ages 16-25 gain positive work experience. Due to the success of the Money Smart Training Program with regular Youth Corps members, Money Smart has been incorporated into this summer employment program as a significant component of the life skills training program, and the curriculum is offered at all 12 of its program sites throughout New Jersey. One site enhanced its financial literacy component by partnering with Wachovia Bank. Bank staff, meet with HEAT participants on an ongoing basis to share information on banking and discuss how to open an account.
Organization: Catholic Charities of Central Texas
Main Office: Austin, Texas
Catholic Charities of Central Texas (CCCTX) works to strengthen individuals, families and communities in the Central Texas area through direct services, community collaboration and social justice advocacy. In 2007, CCCTX received funding from the United Way of Williamson County to begin a new program out of their Georgetown, Texas satellite office to conduct financial literacy workshops in Williamson County. Money Smart was chosen as the curriculum to help area residents learn more about how to handle their money and make smarter financial decisions. A number of collaborative partnerships were also established with other community organizations throughout the county to provide workshops for their clients.
In February 2011, a new collaborative partnership was formed with Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area in Round Rock, Texas to help area residents who are currently either unemployed or underemployed to learn about the steps they need to take to recover financially and to rebuild their credit after a financial setback. Every other Wednesday, a Lunch and Learn workshop is offered using the Money Smart “Financial Recovery” module. Attendees not only receive a free lunch, thanks to funding from BBVA Compass Foundation, but also leave the workshop with the tools they need to assess their current financial situation, to develop a financial recovery plan and to avoid credit repair scams. The Lunch and Learn workshop has been so successful it is being expanded to another Workforce Solutions site in Taylor, Texas.